In Bihar Election 2020, the LJP is believed to have severed JD(U)'s winning chances on around 40 seats but it also ended up with just one MLA.
Around six months after Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) inflicted a heavy dent to the ruling Janata Dal (United), reducing it to just 43 of the 115 seats it contested, the former lost its lone representative in the Bihar Assembly after Raj Kumar Singh, who won from Matihani seat in Begusarai, joined Nitish Kumar’s JD(U).
LJP had fielded candidates against all 110 seats that JD(U) contested and on five seats that the BJP contested. The LJP is believed to have severed JD(U)’s winning chances on around 40 seats but it also ended up with just one MLA.
With the lone MLA now ditching Chirag Paswan, the LJP neither has a representation in the state’s Legislative Council nor the Legislative Assembly. Chirag had been brutally critical of Nitish Kumar during the Bihar Assembly Elections last year, but supported the BJP, hoping to form a BJP-LJP government. Now, CM Kumar seems to have drawn levels with LJP.
Singh’s exit comes in the midst of a continuing exodus from the LJP following the demise of Chirag’s father and Union minister Ramvilas Paswan. Earlier on February 18, over 200 mid-level and lower-rung leaders of the Lok Janshakti Party had joined the JD(U). Some of them held state-level posts in the party. Most notable among the turncoats is former state general secretary Keshav Singh who revolted against Chirag Paswan.
After the LJP decided to contest Bihar polls alone, Chirag Paswan had been waiting for BJP’s call to get a ministerial berth in the Centre. With Nitish Kumar heading Bihar, it appears that the BJP does not want to offend the CM. With no cabinet reshuffle in sight, Chirag’s wait in the shadows may get painfully long.